How to effectively use typography in web design
Typography is a significant topic. Here, design and content converge. It has the power to influence how we read and feel. Its attitude has an impact on how others view your business.
People that visit your website will leave due to poor typographic choices that keep them from reading.
A good usage of typography should always complement the text rather than burden the user’s cognitive processing.
Create material that is simple to read and understand. To effectively convey information (comprehensibility) and values (aesthetics), make your type readable (good user experience).
Yet how? It all begins with a goal.
What’s your goal? What typefaces you use should depend on the answer. When choosing typeface, start with the goal of the website. It will have an influence on every facet of its design.
- Font that conveys the values of your brand
Choosing wonderful typefaces is not the focus of web design; rather, it is how we use them. However, that just doesn’t mean that the font you choose isn’t significant—it really is.
Additionally, selecting a typeface might be challenging at times because there are so many options. In general, you have decorative, sans serif, slab serif, script, and handwritten fonts. There is a visual tone of voice in typography. Fonts subconsciously communicate with us.
Not just what you say, but also how you say it, matters. The visual aspect of communication is very important. Humans are naturally visual thinkers. Reduce the number of fonts you use. Stick to your brand’s font consistency (and branding in general).
- Make use of headings and visual hierarchy
Through the use of the appropriate visual signals, an effective hierarchy may educate, impress, and convince people to take the intended action.
Hierarchy is the process of employing layout to generate direction for the reader’s eyes and make the overall page content easier to read.
Some words on the page, like menus, titles, and testimonials, will supersede over others depending on the objectives of your website. Establish hierarchy by using font size and style.
Therefore, if you want to emphasise anything and give it (white) space, you will be able to bring more attention to it. De-emphasis is a concept that is also relevant. To make a line of text appear less essential to the viewer, for instance, make it smaller than the surrounding text.
In web design, headings and HTML header tags are crucial.
Typically, H1 is the biggest and boldest. This is the main heading that is used to draw attention. H2 comes next, then H3, and so on. Users can rapidly explore the material with the aid of these sub-headers. Even though the body text or paragraphs are smaller than the headings, they are still very readable.
- Limit your line length
Reading long lines is challenging. Short lines are often challenging to read.
Have you ever given up on reading something or resized the browser window due to the excessive length of the lines?
All the time, this happens to me. Please, don’t make this rookie error on your website for the sake of all of our eyes and to improve the web.
After 75 characters, the human eye starts to tyre. Line lengths should be brief but not too brief. On desktop, 60 characters is the sweet spot, whereas on mobile, 30–40 characters.
The readability of your writing depends on the number of characters on each line. Limit the width of your text blocks to get the ideal number of characters per line.
- Add white space between lines
The quantity of white space between letter baselines is known as leading.
The vertical white space between lines of text is increased by increasing the leading, which generally enhances readability. However, you don’t want too much or too enough, just like line length. The tiniest spacing changes can have a significant impact on reader understanding.
- Boost colour contrast
Make the text on your website easier to scan and read by using sufficient colour contrast. Don’t make the text and backdrop the same or almost similar colours.
The text will be more visible and more likely to be read the greater contrast it has with the backdrop colour.
Red and green colour blindness is frequent (approx 4.5% of the population), therefore avoid utilising these colours alone to convey information. Once you’ve decided on a colour, it’s imperative to test it out with actual users on the majority of devices.
- Select a Typeface that works well at various sizes
Your site will be accessed by users using devices with varying screen sizes and resolutions. The majority of user interfaces necessitate text elements of varied sizes (field labels, button copy, section headers, etc). To preserve readability and usability at all sizes, choose a typeface that performs well in multiple sizes and weights.
Check that the typeface you select is legible on tiny screens! Avoid typefaces with cursive letters, such as Vivaldi, which, although attractive, are difficult to read.
- Use appropriate apostrophes and dashes
“I love typography,” for example, is a smart or curly phrase that is curled and looks like a 6 and a 9. For example, “Jack’s taco” uses apostrophes to emphasise possession. When there is a quote inside another quote, use a single apostrophe quote, such as “I adore ‘typography,'” for example.
Straight quotations, such as ” or ‘, are vertical. Never use straight quotes or apostrophes for authentic quotes. That is poor typography! Straight quotations are used correctly for measurements in feet and inches.
Do not mix up hyphens and dashes. They are not the same thing.
Hyphens are the tiniest dashes used to join two words together or to appear at the end of a line when a word breaks to indicate that the word continues to the following line (hyphenation).
En dashes are medium-sized dashes that are used in dates and numerals to indicate a range of values. Em dashes are the largest dash and are used to divide a sentence into two parts, generating a pause.
- Avoid using all caps
All caps text – text with all the letters capitalised — is OK in circumstances that don’t require reading (such as acronyms or logos), but don’t force your users to read all capitals text when your message requires reading.
Simply said, uppercase text is more difficult to understand. According to studies, people scan capital words up to 10% slower than ordinary text.
According to some researchers, capital text has an impact on word shape identification. In other words, the boxy shapes of uppercase words are more challenging for humans to notice and absorb. Other cognitive experts hold opposing viewpoints.
Whatever the cause, the outcome is the same. When you put material in all caps, you force your website visitors to work harder.
Reading is made easier by good typography. I hope you find these recommendations useful in improving the readability and legibility of your website text!
Poor typeface choices can keep users from reading. Making typography readable, understandable, and legible is critical. Typography should always honour the content while never adding to the user’s cognitive load.
Typography is an important component of every website. We’ve only began to scratch the surface.